While centralised (or at least single-point of control) social networks are dominant right now, social networking is really something bigger that what any one company should handle. Work is underway to provide the necessary technology stack to achieve that and we would love to see Drupal lead the way the same way it has done with Semantic Web technologies. This is hopefully just our one of many contributions in that direction. We set the scene and figure out what would be a good, practical first goal.

Does Drupal really have a steep learning curve? If you read the usual CMS comparison posts around the web that seems to be the general consensus. But I don't believe that is entirely fair and, as most things, it is all about relativity - how steep the mountain is depends on what is at the top of the mountain once you get there.

How do you know you are "doing the right thing" while building a Drupal website? What does best practice really mean? I think best practice can be identified not on the merits of how many people do the same things but on the basis of whether it passes a set of sensible rules. In this post I try to outline some of the ones I apply to help me decide whether a solution is sensible, and I hope others will chime in with their own methods.

Can Drupal revolutionise its contribution process and tap into the long tail of developers that have little time to contribute but want to help in a meaningful way? A proposal for the Drupalcon San Francisco Developer Summit.

While everyone is excitedly awaiting for the big features of Drupal 7 like the improved UI, CCK in Core, file handling, new database layer etc - it may be the one feature most people don't talk about that will have the most impact in the long-term. RDFa.

After 3 months of using Open Atrium as our main collaboration tool for one of our biggest projects we thought we'd share our experiences. If you are considering whether or not to use Open Atrium, hopefully you will find this useful.

Any debate about the direction of Drupal development, and especially the recent one regarding Drupal core, can benefit from identifying what are the basic building blocks that define Drupal in the most fundamental way. A clear notion of what a Drupal core really is allows us to focus on how that should develop in the future. In trying to clarify my own ideas regarding Drupal's future direction I attempt to outline these building blocks here.

Along the way I also argue that these basic blocks are actually pretty excellent and can, if such a direction is adopted by the community, allow Drupal to become a fantastic framework on which to built a range of different applications.

This debate goes to the heart of what Drupal should be. Is it a framework, a CMS, a social network creation tool or all of the above. The small core movement argues for Drupal itself to focus on the absolutely essential while installation profiles offer complete solutions that address specific use cases.

As Drupal matures and its community grows the provisions made for end users to have a better experience and to enable designers to more easily mould Drupal into the appropriate looks and behaviours becoming increasingly important. The initial debates at the Drupal Conference were heated but the end results may well prove that it was all worth it.

Back home after my first Drupal conference and it was a great experience. I was obviously excited about Drupal's prospects before going, but the conference has renewed my confidence in the future of Drupal that is looking brighter than ever.

As a means to crystalize my thoughts I will try to sum up my experience of the conference and provide my own input on how I see (would like to see) the future of Drupal shaping up. The whole things is quite long so I broke it down to three parts - the community, the designers vs developers challenges and the small core movement.